Time Inc.’s Kimberly Miller on Web 2.0 for Publishers
As more companies attempt to leverage Web 2.0 tactics for online acquisition, experts are still debating the definition of this approach centered on user participation and human-computer interaction. O’Reilly Media founder Tim O’Reilly, often credited with coining the term Web 2.0, depicts the discipline as a user-generated experience and computer industry revolution “caused by the move to the Internet as a platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.”
From IBM social-networking analyst Dario de Judicibus’ definition—“a knowledge-oriented environment where human interactions generate content that is published, managed and used through network applications in a service-oriented architecture”— to the broader description of Web 2.0 as a loose representation of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s the “noosphere”—a collective consciousness or shared pool of human knowledge—the debate continues.
Definitions aside, it is clear that providing tools for personalization is one way to generate user interest by allowing visitors to cull through available information and zero in on specific areas. At the DMA’s Annual Circulation Day last month, Target Marketing caught up with Kimberly Miller, online director for Time Inc.’s InStyle.com and RealSimple.com, to discuss how circulation executives are defining Web 2.0 and maximizing its potential to boost the bottom line.
Target Marketing: What was the general consensus among circulation professionals regarding the definition of Web 2.0?
Kimberly Miller: The main consensus was that Web 2.0 is centered around the user and user-generated content. For example, if you look at sites that have been around for a long time like eBay or Amazon, users are putting up their own items and rating the seller on how they are doing. That was a sort of precursor to Web 2.0. Facebook was the next step, with customized profiles that show a person’s mood, where they have traveled around the world, or music and photos. The consumer is taking charge of the content they want others to see.